Promoting peace through community development | The Daily Star
03:58 PM, August 06, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 09:59 PM, August 06, 2020

Promoting peace through community development

Community Development for Peace (CDP) started their journey in 2013, with an aim to promote positive thinking and peace through different volunteering communities.

"I was motivated to do something for the public, and I thought of developing a platform where people will work as a community to ensure peace in the world," shares Muhammad Ferdaus, CEO and Founder of CDP. Coordinator and Lecturer of the PPDM at BRAC University, he is engaged in multiple activities on youth leadership and rights-based responses to humanitarian issues.

With 430 active volunteers from across the country, CDP strives to develop communities that will contribute positively to the future. Benefitting nearly 3000 people with their commendable efforts, CDP has organised 57 events and donated 3M BDT in social work. They are affiliated with 34 institutes, including Bangladesh Army and Bangladesh Police.

CDP arranges different seminars, workshops and training programmes in educational institutions as well as other venues, on subjects such as peace and security, disaster management, women empowerment, social action projects and many others. The organisation, in collaboration with BRAC University Postgraduate Programs in Disaster Management (PPDM) and SEEDS Asia, arranged different training programmes on disaster management over the years. 'CDP Disaster Risk Reduction' was a pre-coronavirus training and awareness programme in collaboration with SEEDS Asia, held in February.

CDP has been collaborating with different institutions for tackling the coronavirus pandemic. Starting by distributing necessary items to underprivileged communities in collaboration with BRAC University, CDP volunteers also took part in two events arranged by Bangladesh Army, 1-minute er Bazar and 1-minute er Eid Bazar, in May.

Focusing on training people from different backgrounds to respond to the crisis, CDP arranged Training for Trainers, a training programme, jointly hosted by FUNAO, UNFPA, and BRAC at the BRAC Learning Centre in June.

Community Support Team (CST), another initiative  by CDP, aims to support the government by providing trainers as well as volunteers in Dhaka, Gazipur and Chittagong district. The team is working on verifying clusters of COVID-19 outbreaks, reducing the risk of community transmission, providing support to the Upazila rapid response team for contact tracing and reducing the burden on hospitalisation among others.

In collaboration with Platform, a2i, PPDM of BRAC University, and FAO, a project titled, CDP COVID Responders, aims to engage volunteers in activities such as helping COVID-19 suspected patients for proper self-isolation at home. The project aims to ensure a dedicated medical response to critical patients and prevention of future infections.

CDP also developed a curriculum to educate their COVID responders across the country with up to date information, completely free of cost and accessible through an open learning platform, Muktopaath. The organisation also maintains a central coordination cell to give necessary guidelines to the COVID responders.

"We are planning to make an online training event throughout the country, where participants will be trained on how to help the authority to collect samples of COVID-19, how to ensure home isolation and how to help those in need," shares Ferdaus about their upcoming projects. "The COVID responders will ensure the best possible support from the community." CDP plans to continue their initiatives in fighting the pandemic and build effective volunteering communities across the country.

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